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6-day Mexico City urban exploration

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New York City, New...
posts: 316
reviews: 23
6-day Mexico City urban exploration

(I had previous “ using Airport Courtyard by Marriott as base...? ” thread, but was able to get Marriott Reforma, thanks to some tips!)

1. Can anyone suggest high-rise top floor restaurants or other buildings with top floor observatories that allow visitors to take urban panorama photos?

2. Is it correct that Ecobici still does NOT offer short-term plans for tourists?

3. I have copied several Top Ten Free Things to do in Mexico City lists; are there any well known free attractions, activities that do NOT allow photos?

4. Are there any jump-on-jump-off tour bus companies that have many stops covering all well known attractions, markets, museums, parks, etc., that offer economical 5-day pass?

Thanks in advance!

New York City, New...
posts: 182
reviews: 4
1. Re: 6-day Mexico City urban exploration

1) Las time I went I was able to get a good 360 view of the city from the Torre Latinoamericano in the Centro Historico. I believe I paid 60 pesos to go up to the top. There were also very good views from the Castillo de Chapultapec but not 360 degrees.

2) Yes, you need to have a membership for ecobici. I've heard that there are places that they'll lend you free bikes in the Polanco for 3 hours if you bring your passport. See reply #2 here: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g150800-i164-k5321…

3) At a lot of attractions, such as Museo Frida Kahlo, Castillo de Chapultapec, Palacio de Bellas Artes you need to buy a photography pass for extra $. At the Presidential Palace (a must) you can't take photos of any enclosed areas, but you can take photos of the Diego Rivera Mural and the courtyard areas.

5) Turibus is hop-on hop-off but I'm not sure if they do a 5 day pass. I personally think the more economical option would be to take the subway or walk to all the different attractions.

Washington, DC
posts: 957
reviews: 10
2. Re: 6-day Mexico City urban exploration

Regarding (1), aside from the suggestions in the previous post, there's also the restaurant on the roof of the Best Western Hotel on the Zocalo. You can also get good panoramas from the top of the Teotihuacan pyramids, but the view of the landscape is brown and monotonous.

Regarding (4), Turibus is the only hop-on-hop-off service I know of. It's slow (due to the wait time) and expensive, so I wouldn't use it for daily transportation for your whole trip.

New York City, New...
posts: 316
reviews: 23
3. Re: 6-day Mexico City urban exploration

Thanks for great responses & information!

Will be copying & pasting it ASAP!

Have not reseached "markets" yet, but someone at one of

my photo agencies who has been to DF years apart & commented

that things had improved, stated:

"I will still not visit the Tepito market"

What do others here advise?

Any other markets where I can more safely take candid photos

of local people selling, buying, shopping, etc.?

Thanks in advance!

Washington, DC
posts: 957
reviews: 10
4. Re: 6-day Mexico City urban exploration

Like any other city, Mexico City has high-crime neighborhoods where you probably shouldn't go. The Tepito market is in such a neighborhood, and the market is famous for selling stolen, counterfeit, and illegally imported goods. There's some debate as to if it's actually dangerous for tourists to go there, but I don't think there's any reason to risk it.

Regarding the candid photos, I would hope that you're getting permission before photographing random strangers at close range. It's also best to get permission before photographing vendors' merchandise. I think the Merced market would be good for the kind of photography you want to do. Merced does have the reputation of being slightly unsafe, but I think the streets outside (where prostitutes solicit openly) are worse than the market itself.

It sounds like you're taking some expensive camera gear to Mexico City. If you take it on the Metro, make sure you conceal it well or put it in a bag that's hard to open. Although most crimes are rare against tourists in Mexico City, getting something stolen on the Metro seems to happen relatively frequently.

New York City, New...
posts: 316
reviews: 23
5. Re: 6-day Mexico City urban exploration

Will carry only one "very-used-looking" taped-up Canon 7D;

neck strap & almost always held in hand, ready to take candids;

Yes, whenever possible, I ask, "Permisso a tomar foto?"

Or point to camera & a thumb-up motion...

Besides some pesos in knee pocket, where should I hide credit card? regards!

Edited: 4:26 pm, June 03, 2012
Washington, DC
posts: 957
reviews: 10
6. Re: 6-day Mexico City urban exploration

Regardless of the camera's actual value, when on the subway, I wouldn't carry it in such a way that it could quickly be snatched off your arm or neck. Burying it in a nondescript backpack (held at your side or front) is good enough. You could bury your wallet in the same backpack, or zip it into the inside pocket of a jacket if it isn't too hot. (The metro trains don't have A/C, but the windows open, and it doesn't get that hot in Mexico City anyway.)

Really, just take the same precautions you would take in any other city with pickpocketing (London, Barcelona...), although keep in mind that (1) unless you're Hispanic, you'll blatantly stand out as a foreigner no matter what you do, (2) locals will assume that you're much wealthier than the average subway passenger, and (3) they're right.

oregon and mexico
posts: 37
reviews: 19
7. Re: 6-day Mexico City urban exploration

Bellini Restaurante Giratorio is a revolving restaurant on top of the World Trade Center. I have not been there but it is my understanding that at least the views are terrific.

New York City, New...
posts: 316
reviews: 23
8. Re: 6-day Mexico City urban exploration

Will be copying & pasting all this useful info!

Are there historic/modern train stations near city center that are good photo opportunities? Are there particular few Metro stations making the best photo opps? Also, which avenue/street in financial district should I visit to photograph multiple banks in one view? Any major urban construction projects currently that depict economic development?

Thanks for any tips!

Washington, DC
posts: 957
reviews: 10
9. Re: 6-day Mexico City urban exploration

There is one one heavy rail train station that I know of (Buenavista) which is now a commuter train station. To photograph Metro trains, you might try the stations in outlying areas where trains run above ground, plus the interior layouts are different at the outlying transfer stations (very long transfer corridors).

This blog has an extremely extensive collection of photos from all areas of the city. You might check it to get an idea of what you might see: http://mexicocitymetro.wordpress.com/

10. Re: 6-day Mexico City urban exploration

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